According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arizona enjoys an unemployment rate of 4.8%. While slightly higher than the national average, this rate still offers promising employment prospects, especially in high-demand fields. If you live in Arizona and want to start a more lucrative job, consider entering one of the state's largest employment sectors, such as management, healthcare, business, and education. Salaries in these fields range from $47,470 to $104,940 per year. Additionally, managerial positions often boast higher salaries.
Most careers in these fields require some education beyond high school. Fortunately, Arizona's top colleges and universities prepare you to achieve your career goals through online bachelor's and master's programs.
Top 5 Online Colleges in Arizona
- University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ
- Arizona State University-Skysong - Scottsdale, AZ
- Northern Arizona University - Flagstaff, AZ
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Prescott, AZ
- Arizona Christian University - Phoenix, AZ
Online education offers numerous advantages over traditional on-campus programs, especially for learners who work full time or raise a family. Many online programs use an asynchronous format so learners can access pre-recorded lectures and other course materials at any time of day. Also, public institutions that offer online certificates and degrees often extended in-state tuition rates to out-of-state online learners. Students save additional money by not paying for housing, transportation, childcare, and other expenses associated with learning on campus.
This ranking highlights the five best online colleges and universities in the Grand Canyon State. Each institution is regionally accredited and offers an excellent educational experience. Below we outline key information about each institution's online programs, support services, and application requirements. You can use the embedded links to visit a school's website, where you can locate contact information if you have questions about a program or application requirements.
2020 Best Online Colleges in Arizona
University of Arizona
|Tucson, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 64%||
The University of Arizona boasts online undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as online graduate certificates. Bachelor's programs such as cyber operations, environmental science, and network operations prepare learners for in-demand careers. All courses last 7.5 weeks, and most students take one course at a time. However, the school suggests degree-seekers without additional responsibilities take two courses simultaneously.
Online learners can reach professors through email, text, and one-on-one conferencing through Skype. Degree-seekers use the same methods to work with academic advisors and counselors. As students approach graduation, they can network with alumni mentors to explore job opportunities and gain valuable career advice.
Prospective students complete a four-step application process that involves creating an account and submitting transcripts. All incoming learners must provide FAFSA results by the fall or spring deadline. UArizona does not charge out-of-state tuition, and transfer students may qualify for up to $500 per semester in merit-based scholarships.
Arizona State University-Skysong
|Scottsdale, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 14%||
Award-winning faculty and a generous transfer credit policy make Arizona State University one of the best online colleges in Arizona. ASU hosts over 30,000 learners across more than 200 entirely online programs, including degrees and certificates in 18 academic areas such as business, liberal studies, or technology. ASU features six start dates each year.
ASU provides 11 valuable support services to help online learners succeed in the virtual classroom and find a fulfilling career. Students do not pay an additional fee to access online tutors and can speak with success coaches to receive personalized advice. ASU's online Career and Professional Development Service provides all the same benefits that on-campus degree-seekers enjoy.
Prospective freshmen must possess either a high school diploma or GED certificate. Transfer credit should reflect a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA, and applicants to graduate programs should have a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Each program charges a different per-credit tuition rate, and ASU helps incoming learners explore and apply to outside scholarship opportunities.
Northern Arizona University
|Flagstaff, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 55%||
One of the best online universities in Arizona, Northern Arizona University offers online programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Unlike other online institutions on this ranking, NAU offers coursework in both a traditional semester format and a competency-based learning structure. The latter requires students to choose a unique start date and pay a flat subscription rate. This can benefit degree-seekers who want to apply outside education -- such as military training -- toward their degree.
Online learners at NAU use Blackboard virtual learning software to communicate with professors and peers, and the university's online library and tutoring resources provide the same excellent services that on-campus students receive. The university also boasts 24/7 IT support. Additionally, online degree-seekers can visit a local NAU campus to use any campus services they need.
NAU accepts both high school transcripts and GED scores. All online students pay the same per-credit tuition rate and fees. Freshmen, transfer, and graduate learners may qualify for merit-based scholarships or need-based grants.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott
|Prescott, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 60%||
A world-class university with campuses in Arizona and Florida, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers online bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees -- as well as certificates -- in areas such as aerospace engineering aviation and aerospace sustainability. Unlike other online colleges on this ranking, ERAU offers free online courses for prospective degree-seekers. Courses last 9-12 weeks, and new students can start a program at one of many points throughout the year.
ERAU attracts students from all over the world; learners study alongside and collaborate with a truly international student body. Advisors provide personalized advice to help degree-seekers create a bespoke program that matches their academic and career goals. Learners can also access technical support at any time of day.
Application requirements vary for undergraduate and graduate programs. Transfer credit must reflect a minimum C grade, and ERAU does not factor in transfer GPA when making financial aid decisions. Freshmen and transfer students may qualify for merit-based scholarships, and awards renew automatically as long as learners maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Arizona Christian University
|Phoenix, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 47%||
The only Christian college on this list, Arizona Christian University offers six online bachelor's programs, including business administration, biblical and theological studies, and secondary education. Online programs use the same professors and curriculum as on-campus programs, and new courses start every eight weeks. All professors integrate the Christian worldview into their courses.
Outside of class, online learners can access multiple student services that promote spiritual growth and academic success. The ACU library boasts the latest research tools at no additional cost, and the Academic Center provides both one-on-one and small group tutoring sessions. Additionally, ACU invites online learners living in the Glendale area to attend Tuesday and Thursday religious services.
ACU accepts GED certificates, and applicants with high school transcripts should possess a minimum 2.0 GPA. As a private university, ACU charges the same per-credit tuition rate to all degree-seekers. Incoming students apply for merit-based scholarships and need-based grants by submitting FAFSA results.